Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Matt Cooke's suspension hearing: The top secret transcript

Hey Matt, I've lost count, how
many suspensions is that now?
Scene: The NHL's head office, inside a window-lined boardroom with "Department of Supplemental Discipline" written on the door. Colin Campbell, Mike Murphy and Gary Bettman sit at one end of a large table, with Matt Cooke and Mario Lemieux at the other.

Colin Campbell: Hi Matt. Welcome to the hearing. Did you have any trouble finding a parking spot?

Matt Cooke: Nah, I just parked out front in the "Reserved for Matt Cooke" space.

Campbell: Great. So I've watched the replay of this Ryan McDonagh hit a dozen times. It sure looks like you're intentionally targeting a defenceless opponent with a flagrant elbow to the head. How can you possibly defend your actions?

Cooke: Um... it was an accident?

Campbell: An accident.

Cooke (hesitantly): ... Yes?

A long pause. Campbell stares at Cooke intently before finally breaking the silence.

Campbell: Great, well thanks for clearing that up. Zero games. Sorry for troubling you.

Campbell and Murphy begin gathering up their papers and prepare to leave the room. Cooke looks around in confusion.

Gary Bettman: Uh, everyone? Could we hold on just a second? Maybe we could talk about this one a little more?

Campbell and Murphy stop in the doorway.

Campbell: Well, sure, I guess. If you want to.

Bettman: You know, just since we have the room booked and all.

Campbell (returning to his seat): OK. Well, since I've already subjected Matt to in-depth questioning... Mario, do you have anything to say?

Mario Lemieux: Do I have to?

Campbell: Yes.

Lemieux (sighing): Fine. Look, he's on my team. He's one of my players, technically. So... you know... don't suspend him, I guess.

Campbell: That's very helpful, thanks.

Lemieux: I need to leave now.

Lemieux bolts out the door.

Campbell: Thanks Mario. Our next witness is scheduled to be... hmm, what does it say on my sheet here... "a world-renowned and completely impartial hockey expert, named... Dr. Wario Mellieux".

A man who looks oddly like Mario Lemieux wearing a moustache made out of duct tape walks into the room.

Campbell: Dr. Mellieux, your thoughts?

Mellieux: Matt Cooke is an abomination, a scumbag, an embarrassment, everything that's wrong with the game. I hate him. He should be banned for life.

Cooke: Dude...

Mellieux: And also, he shouldn't count against the salary cap while he's suspended.

They're interrupted by a figure poking his head in the door.

Trevor Gillies: You wanted to see me, Colin?

Campbell: Uh... no.

Gillies (looking down at a newspaper with headline reading "Hockey's biggest cheapshot artist facing suspension yet again"): Oh. Oops, my mistake.

Campbell: No problem Trevor. Talk to you in a few weeks.

Gillies: Sure thing. By the way, whoever's driving the Mercedes Benz with the "MARIO66" vanity plates, I smashed into it from behind. Sorry.

Mellieux: Son of a...

Delivery guy (entering room): OK, who ordered the large pizza with extra cheese and...

Matt Cooke leaps to his feet and begins elbowing the delivery guy repeatedly in the head.

Bettman: Matt...

Cooke: Oops... my bad. Sorry everyone. Force of habit.

Bettman: Don't worry about it. Hey, at least you didn't slam his face into a stanchion!

Zdeno Chara (poking his head through a window): I heard that!

Cooke: Aren't we on the third floor?

Bettman: Never mind that. Look Matt, your hit was very dangerous, but you're here to defend yourself. So go ahead, tell us why we shouldn't throw the book at you.

Cooke: Look, I know I've made mistakes. I'm a physical player and yes, I step over the line sometimes. But so do lots of players, and most of them don't get big suspensions.

Campbell: Exactly. I went easy on Dany Heatley and Brad Marchand, and I didn't suspend Chara at all...

Mellieux (under his breath): Or that jerk who took out Marc Savard.

Campbell: Shush. The point is, plenty of players do dirty things without getting suspended. Why start getting tough now, right?

Cooke: Exactly! I mean, honestly, is hitting one guy in the head really any more dirty that smashing a guy in the face repeatedly with your elbow pad, the way Gregory Campbell did against Montreal...

The room immediately goes silent.

Cooke: Uh... I mean...

Everyone is too horrified to speak.

Campbell (calmly): I'm sorry, Matt, could you repeat that? Any more dirty than who?

Cooke (deer in headlights): Uh... uh...

Campbell (nonchalantly rolling up his sleeves): Everyone leave the room please.

Murphy sprints for the door. Dr. Mellieux leaves his chair spinning, while Bettman leaps over the table. The pizza delivery guy struggles to commando-crawl out the door, which is then quickly slammed and padlocked shut. The group huddles fearfully in the hallway for several moments.

Campbell (from inside the room): Incoming!

An airborne Matt Cooke smashes through the window and lands in the hallway. Campbell steps through the broken glass and pauses over Cook's dazed body.

Campbell (dusting himself off): When he comes to, tell him he's done until the second round of the playoffs. After all, we have to send a message that there are certain lines that just can't be crossed.

---

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48 comments:

  1. would any other league allow even the appearance of conflict of interest when it comes to supplemental discipline? would any league sit idly by when that conflict of interest is confirmed through attempts to interfere with officiating?

    the NHL is in a league of their own when it comes to finding new ways to come across as unprofessional.

    someone should photoshop Bettman's face on the Iraqi defense minister with the caption "there is no conflict of interest in the NHL"

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  2. The sad thing is that was completely believable.

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  3. "
    Zdeno Chara (poking his head through a window): I heard that!

    Cooke: Aren't we on the third floor?"

    Genius.

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  4. "Campbell (calmly): I'm sorry, Matt, could you repeat that? Any more dirty than who?"

    "Cooke (deer in headlights): Uh... uh..."

    *snicker* OK, this is brilliant stuff. Very amusing. :-)

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  5. add the words "hijinks ensue" and i smell sitcom!

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  6. What LoCoDe said.

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  7. funny post but why don't you do these with blogesalming anymore?

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  8. That was fucking stupid.

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  9. True Story: I just read that while picturing a Down Goes Brown/Bloge Salming video in my head. Bettman voice and all. That's normal.. Right?

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  10. Pertch is a Pens fan :P

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  11. Until now, i thought you were just funny. You are an absolute genius for putting the complete joke the league has become into a nutshell.

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  12. Oh, I shouldn't have read this at work. I got to Wario and burst out laughing.

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  13. Sir,

    This has been your most creative post to date. Maybe not the absolute funniest but definitely most creative.

    Thank you

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  14. I am sorry to say that as of now, I officially have to stop reading DGB - the image of Zdeno Chara's heading poking in a third story window will haunt me forever.

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  15. "Cooke: Aren't we on the third floor?"=ABSOLUTE GOLD

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  16. Amanda said this: "True Story: I just read that while picturing a Down Goes Brown/Bloge Salming video in my head. Bettman voice and all. That's normal.. Right?"

    Ha - I did the exact same thing!!

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  17. I could absolutely imagine this really happening... Epic stuff there, DGB, like always.

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  18. I don't get the Zdeno Chara and the third floor joke...can someone explain it to me? I loved the rest of it though.

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  19. Uh, cause Chara is insanely tall. He even makes Kyle Wellwood look short... wait.

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  20. Excellent find... was this in the same cabinet with Campbell's email account info? And by the way, when they took a look at the video, Trevor clearly hit Mario's car from the side. There is no audio on the security tape, but when the traffic cop told him to, "clear the scene", he was yelling at the cop (not Shero, not Mario's 17 year old "niece" who was shaken up in the accident). He was trying to get the officer to pay attention 200 feet away, where a rape was taking place (perpetrated by a rapist who had escaped from the officer's back seat) while the cop was writing up a traffic incident.

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  21. It was fun to imagine a Goofy-style "yaaaaaah-hah-hah-houieeee!" yell coming from within the closed room.

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  22. You know what they say in the NHL about being employed by the Pittsburgh Penguins..."Membership has its benefits".

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  23. @iWannaBeANYR

    What does your post even mean? How does it have any relation to this article? Explain, please.

    Only the stupidest, homer-est Pens fans would be upset by this. It's a well-crafted satire that somehow paints a more accurate picture of the problem than 99% of what comes out in the "objective" hockey press.

    It's also very fair to the Pens and Lemieux. Most Pens fans have had it with Cooke. Even those that still want him on the team are only giving him one more chance. The Pens haters, of whom there are many, have seized on Matt Cooke as their latest excuse to rail against the Penguins. They can't get over the pain Lemieux caused them in their youth. As a Pens fan, it's the cheap criticism of Lemieux and the overly simplified view that Matt Cooke and the Penguins are the root of all evil in the NHL that bothers me.

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  24. What, no Pronger??

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  25. I'm a Pens fan and I thought this was absolutely hilarious. One of your best. I like Matt Cooke. I think he is a good hockey player when he isn't crossing the line and injuring/potentially injuring other players. He is probably the Penguins best penalty killer and can give you 30 points a season. He just needs to change the way he plays. Still be tenacious and a pain in the ass to play against, but he needs to think a bit more out there. And if he doesn't, he's gone. Mario has said as much.

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  26. Brilliant post.

    NHL should be embarrassed of the mockery the discipline system in this league has become. A satire like this should be completely re-enacted with character actors and replayed during the intermission coverage on NBC and Versus.

    Thought Cooke deserved every bit of this suspension, and I do recognize that it puts my team in a really bad spot. If you don't think this has impacted the pens yet, their #1 ranked Penalty kill (at 86% on the season) has allowed 4 powerplay goals since Cooke was ejected on Sunday.

    I hope this is the gauntlet dropping, and every "bonehead" play from this point on out is met with the same response from the league... although I am skeptical.

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  27. Loved it, DGB! The Chara joke was especially funny, and I also liked the part where Gillies crashes into Mario's car from behind. :P

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  28. Amazingly humourous, and sadly, totally believable.

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  29. Awesome. Good stuff and great story. Oh wait, that was a story right? Cause ya know that elbow pad reference did actually happen, I am certain of it!

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  30. anonymous, of course the elbow pad thing happened; that's why this is funny, because it's true. We're all laughing to hide the pain of knowing that a dartboard is the "professional advice" that the league disciplinarian takes into account

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  31. I was kind of hoping for either a "BOO-YAH!", or Brent Johnson saying "I got this." That said this was up to your usual fine standard of work. It almost makes me want to drop the Rangers in favor of the Leafs.

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  32. What someone said earlier about a sitcom actually sounds like a great idea. I can picture it now. An animated series that chronicles the events of the NHL discipline committee, perhaps they could also include refs who refuse to make the right calls at any given point during games

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  33. I can't stop laughing about Wario Mellieux.

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  34. "Cooke: Exactly! I mean, honestly, is hitting one guy in the head really any more dirty that smashing a guy in the face repeatedly with your elbow pad, the way Gregory Campbell did against Montreal...

    The room immediately goes silent.

    Cooke: Uh... I mean...

    Everyone is too horrified to speak.

    Campbell (calmly): I'm sorry, Matt, could you repeat that? Any more dirty than who?

    Cooke (deer in headlights): Uh... uh...

    Campbell (nonchalantly rolling up his sleeves): Everyone leave the room please."

    Is it very weird that I pictured "Angry Birds" in this scene? :D

    Overall best piece ever! Chara sticking his head in the window and Wario Mellieux were so hilarious!

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  35. Hilarious! But how many times can a person hear that before it goes to their head? Still hilarious. :)

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  36. I have to say "Wario Mellieux" did it for me. Love your stuff, man!

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  37. I'm actually surprised that Campbell didn't need to refer to the flowchart! Or perhaps he misremebered that it's Avery who is supposed to get 5+ games, not Cooke.

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  38. I can't pick just one thing ... this was made of awesome. Sadly, it was also almost true.

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  39. As a Pens fan, I find this hilarious! And, I bet 99% of Pens fans feel that Matt Cooke is a good hockey player trapped in a goon's body. He has left a black mark on the team's reputation that will not go away for a very long time. I hope this gets to the NHL offices. Wario ftw!

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  40. Pens fan here giving my approval. Loved it.

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  41. Amazing! Can't even pick just one part - sheer brilliance! You get this Pens fan's approval!

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  42. Another Pens fan here to state that this post is great comedy, genius, and comedic genius. I had almost no experience with Down Goes Brown but after this post and the one about the NHL concussion test, I will be coming here a lot more often.

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  43. I could not stop laughing from "Dr. Wario Mellieux.'' If you were wondering why the emperor has no clothes, it's because DGB pulled his pants down.

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